It makes for a strong homage to classic rock ‘n’ roll. Smith fits in snugly wrapped in the trappings of the great sounds of the music’s past. His vocals call to mind Mick Jagger and Bob Dylan among others. The music can take a bluesy sound, a country flavor and on the opening cut there are prog touches. The lyrics call to mind the Rolling Stones, Johnny Rivers, Rick Derringer, Pink Floyd, Devo and others. “The Best Gift of My Life” shows he can come up with a beautiful melody. The words are worth reflection. Smith’s life experiences are worth sharing, and his vocal delivery underscores he’s not posing. It’s an upbeat journey he takes us on throughout these 11 cuts. Love is on his mind. And he doesn’t sound jaded in his tales. He doesn’t seem like a hopeless romantic. The music underscores a desire to connect with his listener as well as bear his soul.
All the analysis need not be ladled on in describing this record. It’s plenty of fun, listening to each song. The tempos change freely from one track to the next. Hard rock is comfortable terrain, displaying his rocking skills on “Over It Soon.” It’s just plain catchy. This could serve as the description for much of what’s offered here. Even if I haven’t listened to as much classic rock lately, I can’t stop thinking about the masters. These cuts show their tradition can be built on and made into something, which represents solid entertainment and art. The words don’t make me cringe. The hooks are welcome. I’m sure Smith has more tales of adventure to share with us as he explores his California roots. Whether whistling, strumming or singing. Smith should continue to make his mark. There’s plenty to revisit, making this album worth spinning over and over. There must be a breeding ground for more great music in his musical vision.